This is one of the bands to get me out and into the rock/metal/punk scene as a spectator when I was in high school. Thera (pronounced, theer-uh) opened for August Burns Red in Anchorage in 2016 and I was HOOKED. I mentioned this band to my sister, who was already a diehard fan, and we saw them live together a few times after that as well. Their last 3 shows, I’ve had the honor of taking photos for them and I’m elated to now call them friends! The voices of Stephanie and Ronnie mesh so well together to create some of the most unique and wide ranges I’ve ever heard. They also use their experiences in their life to write incredible songs with beautiful backstories. Similar to their fellow Alaskan band Distance Defined, these guys write from the heart and with pure emotion and experience.
The first single they released this year was called “Survivalist”. This song has a beautiful writing story and it’s definitely one I want to share having gotten the chance to ask Ronnie about it. “I wrote the lyrics for this one while I was working alone in a little village in southwest AK. That year I had been flying all over the place for work. I have a manic brain that overthinks and fixates on things, so of course it decided to dwell on the idea of the world falling apart while I was a thousand miles away from Stephanie and my son. I kinda wrote it from Steph’s perspective as she received yet another one of my overly dramatic poems or verses while I’m trying to journey back to her. Not that Steph actually felt the way I wrote it, but just that I imagined her being like “Hey, your words are sweet, but they lose their magic when I’m trying to survive here alone with our son at this little piece of land we bought by the ocean.” Half the verses are just lines of the poems I would send her over that year.”
When I learned the story, I listened to it in a completely new light and had a new appreciation for songwriting. It’s incredible that something that wasn’t even intended to come together into one piece, all came together over time and to have the ability to arrange the poetry to make a song that embodies the story in its music is admirable. This song often puts me in tears, and honestly, it’s because they have done such an amazing job in making the instrumentals and the tone of Stephanie’s voice (at least for me) bring the emotions behind the song to the surface and makes me feel as though I’m feeling the way the person in the song was. It’s an incredible gift that, I believe, these guys have nailed.
Thera’s second single released this year was almost a 180 spin around from their previous single “Survivalist”. It shows the kind of love you go out to search for in the crazy nightlife, only to be rejected night after night with unreciprocated feelings. Ronnie explained the song like this; “This one is written from the eyes of someone trying to find their person in a world of late nights and crazy parties. They fall in love with someone nightly, but the other person never reciprocates the feeling. Yet, they patch themselves back up and go back out into the noise looking for love again.”
The beautiful simplicity of the meaning paired with the deep poetic lyrics make this one of my favorite songs they’ve released thus far! When I listen to Stephanie’s voice, she never fails to portray the music’s feeling in her tone and pitch-perfectly. The instrumentals carried out by the remainder of the band complement her beautifully and they’ve always been able to achieve such a beautifully unique sound. If I’m being honest, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a band quite like Thera, ever. To have such a unique band come from a unique place, such as Alaska, is really quite a treasure in my eyes and I can’t wait to see what sound they produce for us next!
Thera’s discography is on Spotify and *select* music videos of songs uploaded to their YouTube channel TheraMusic!